Get that heart rate up!!!
The next step to implement on top of what has been discussed previously in a journey to a healthier you is getting your heart rate up.
We all know exercise is important yet I cannot believe that there still exists a small percentage of the population that refutes the benefits of working out!
This is not a post about why you should exercise. That has been beaten to death and I could talk for days about it. These are my tips and exercises on laying the foundation for more advanced exercises to come later down the road.
Remember, we are all works in progress and each small step forward is still a step. It is a matter of taking action!
Calisthenics is where I believe everyone should start with before even considering picking up a dumbbell, before loading up the wondrous squat rack, before prepping for that beastly deadlift. If you can’t tell, I am quite fond of squats and deadlifts, but that is for another time.
Find the appropriate heart rate zone you should be exercising in, you can either look online or talk to a doctor.
Enough squabble though, here is the list of exercises and then I’ll throw some opinion/commentary afterward.
- Air squats
- Push ups
- Jumping Jacks
The following numbers are what I started with when doing each exercise. I cannot outright tell you how many to do, but keep in mind, the harder you work, the better you will become at it, the better the faster you’ll be and ultimately stronger.
[I love Daft Punk, sue me]
Air squats: 200/day
- 100x in the morning after waking up.
- 50x in the afternoon
- 50x before bed
- 50x in the morning (can be broken into smaller sets)
- 50x in the evening/before bed
Jumping Jacks: 200/day
- 100x in the morning
- 50x in the afternoon
- 50x before bed
Burpees: I hate them.
- 10x in morning
- 10x in the afternoon
- 10x before bed
Lunges: 50 each leg
- 25x in the morning
- 25x in the afternoon
Here are some benchmarks I set for myself:
- 50x air squats in a row without pause. (I started at 25x)
- 50x pushups in a row
- 100x jumping jacks in a row
- 40x lunges each leg in a row
- 15x burpees in a row
When you easily surpass those benchmarks, then change the totality of the exercise or change the number of reps per set.
e.g 200 air squats –> 400 air squats, 50 pushups –> 100 pushups, so on and so forth.
In the beginning, I did not set myself a time limit for each exercise, but that is also something you can definitely tweak as you advance.
Why do I promote calisthenics?
- Can be performed anywhere
- Utilizes your own body weight
- Recovery is much faster compared to strength training
- No equipment needed
- It’s a free way to warm yourself when you refuse to pay for heating in your Italian apartment for the entire month of February.
- Natural movement for your body
- Immense flexibility in combinations and types of exercises
Additionally, this is a time to practice the same techniques you’ll apply to many compound lifts without risk of severely injuring yourself. If you cannot properly air squat, then why would you attempt to do a heavy deep squat and potentially injure yourself?
Your mindset when doing calisthenics should be
“This is all foundational work and I am laying down the pillars in which I will develop my body further when I move onto weighted exercises”
There is no limit or ceiling to the number of repetitions you can perform when doing calisthenics, it relies solely on your body weight.
If there is any obstacle that holds you back and tries to keep you down it’s…your mind.
Your mentality will be your biggest hindrance in performing any exercise, not just what I listed above.
It will make you falsely believe that you don’t have to do the exercise, that you can call it quits, that you haven’t seen any progress or change, that you CAN’T do it.
You must ignore it!!!
Ways to defeat a weak mentality
- Write down your goals
- Write down the number you want to complete
- Count out loud when working out
- Just do it, even if it takes you double or triple the time you initially believed.
- Blast some music
- Find a partner or a small community
- Break down big problems into small problems and solve small problems
Thanks for reading! I am a big fitness nerd and am always on the hunt for great literature out there regarding nutrition or exercises. Send some my way if you think they’re worth reading.